Arsenal 0 Swansea 2: Michu's late double piles more misery on Wenger on day of protest at The Emirates
17:15 GMT, 1 December 2012
Swansea condemned Arsenal to a 2-0 home Barclays Premier League defeat as Michu fired in two late goals at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners had been second best for long spells, and despite an improved performance after the break, the Swans earned reward for their persistence when Spain forward Michu grabbed a late brace.
Jeers greeted the final whistle at Emirates Stadium, as manager Arsene Wenger's side dropped more points and fell further behind in the battle to break back into the top four.
Gunners fans backing the 'Black Scarf Movement' had demonstrated around the ground before kick-off, complaining at the perceived commercialisation of the club following their move to the Emirates Stadium.
Double blast: Swansea's Michu netted twice to settle this match 2-0 in their favour after Arsenal again failed to perform
Great finish: Michu curls a shot home to give Swansea the lead on 87 minutes
Wild celebrations: Michu soaks up the acclaim of the travelling supporters after scoring
Another painful afternoon: Olivier Giroud looks dejected as Arsenal slumped to a 2-0 home loss to Swansea
On the pitch, Wenger opted to deploy
Ivory Coast forward Gervinho in the central striker role ahead of Theo
Walcott, who had netted an early goal in the midweek 1-1 draw at
However, it was Swansea who were the
first to press, with a free-kick into the Arsenal penalty area
eventually being hacked away by Per Mertesacker.
In the 14th minute Arsenal goalkeeper
Wojciech Szczesny made a fine double save after Angel Rangel had been
played in on the overlap down the right and fired in a low, angled drive
with his follow-up effort also blocked by the agile Pole.
Arsenal failed to get any sort of
rhythm together in the first 20 minutes, far too careless in possession
and lacking ideas in the final third.
Duck and cover: The result piles more pressure on Arsene Wenger, who was booed at the final whistle
Dejection: Theo Walcott can only stare into space as Swansea celebrate Michu's first goal with three minutes to play
Pot shot: Jack Wilshere sees his effort blocked by Swansea's Angel Rangel
Bounce: Arsenal Santi Cazorla leaps for the ball with Sung-Yeung Ki at the Emirates
Midfield tussle: Ki and Mikel Arteta battle for the ball in the middle of the park
Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere (Rosicky 78), Walcott, Gervinho (Oxlade-Chamberlain 66), Podolski (Giroud 67)
Subs not used: Mannone, Ramsey, Squillaci, Coquelin
Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Britton, Ki, de Guzman (Tiendalli 73), Schechter (Moore 67), Michu
Subs not used: Cornell, Monk, Agustien, Richards, Donnelly
Goals: Michu 87, 90
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
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Carl Jenkinson, in for injured
right-back Bacary Sagna, whipped a cross through the six-yard box, but
Gervinho could not make contact.
The hosts finally got some momentum,
with Santi Cazorla headed at Swans goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel after
another good cross from Jenkinson.
Nathan Dyer suddenly burst clear
through on goal from a flick by Miguel Michu, but Arsenal captain Thomas
Vermaelen made up the ground to produce a brilliant sliding block just
as the Swansea forward shaped to shoot.
Eight minutes before the break Michu
was bundled over by Mikel Arteta at the edge of the Arsenal penalty
area. Jonathan de Guzman whipped his free-kick up over the wall, but
also the crossbar.
Arsenal offered little in way of
attacking threat, and when Podolski did send over a good cross from the
left, Gervinho failed to make a clean connection as the ball bounced
away to the corner flag – which just about summed up the first half for
Arsenal emerged with much more vigour for the restart.
Cazorla shot straight at the goalkeeper following good work by Jack Wilshere.
Gervinho's run to the edge of the Swansea box was halted by Chico, but referee Mark Clattenburg waved play on.
Aerial battle: Angel Rangel outjumps Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski
Anger: Fans protested in the streets outside the Emirates Stadium before the match with Swansea over the way they perceive the club is being run
Protest: A group of Arsenal supporters marched outside the Emirates Stadium before kick-off in protest at the way the club is being run
There was still threat on the
counter-attack from Swansea, though, as Rangel got clear again down the
right, with Szczesny making another important block at the near post.
With 24 minutes to go, Wenger made a double change as Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Podolski and Gervinho.
French striker Giroud was put clean
through straight away, but was caught by a desperate lunge from Chico –
with referee Clattenburg indicating he felt the Swansea defender got the
slightest of touches, much to the disbelief of Wenger.
With 11 minutes left, Wilshere was
replaced by Tomas Rosicky as the injury-plagued Czech midfielder made
his first appearance since May.
Swansea created another good opening
when substitute Dwight Tiendalli cut into the right side of the Arsenal
box, but again Szczesny produced a smart block.
With five minutes left, Vermaelen's flying header just lacked the pace to beat Tremmel.
Swansea, though, took the lead when
Michu broke clear after a neat one-two with substitute Luke Moore to
slot past Szczesny and leave more questions for Wenger to answer about
the character of his side.
It got worst for the Gunners in
stoppage time when Michu again latched onto a long clearance, racing
through to beat the keeper again.